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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/21

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THE REAL PROBLEMS OF DEMOCRACY.

duties already mentioned there would be much less occasion than now to appeal to the courts. But, whenever the occasion arises, it should involve no cost to the person that feels that his rights have been invaded.

Thus will be solved indirectly all the problems of democracy that social and political reformers seek in vain to solve directly. With the diminution of the duties of the state to the preservation of order and the enforcement of justice will be effected a reform as important and far reaching as the suppression of chronic warfare. When politicians are deprived of the immense plunder now involved in political warfare, it will not be necessary to devise futile plans for caucus reform, or ballot reform, or convention reform, or charter reform, or legislative reform. Having no more incentive to engage in their nefarious business than the smugglers that the abolition of the infamous tariff laws banished from Europe, they will disappear among the crowd of honest toilers. The suppression of the robberies of the tax collectors and tax eaters, who have become so vast an army in the United States, will effect also a solution of all labor problems. A society that permits every toiler to work for whomsoever he pleases and for whatever he pleases, protecting him in the full enjoyment of all the fruits of his labor, has done for him everything that can be done. It has taught him self-support and self-control. In thus guaranteeing him freedom of contract and putting an end to the plunder of a bureaucracy and privileged classes of private individuals, the beneficiaries of special legislation, it has effected the only equitable distribution of property possible. At the same time it has accomplished a vastly greater work. As I have shown, the indispensable condition of success of all movements for moral reform is the suppression not only of militant strife, but of political strife. While they prevail, all ecclesiastical and pedagogic efforts to better the condition of society must fail. Despite lectures, despite sermons and prayers, despite also literature and art, the ethics controlling the conduct of men and women will be those of war. But with the abolition of both forms of militant strife it becomes an easy task to teach the ethics of peace, and to establish a state of society that requires no other government than that of conscience. All the forces of industrialism contribute to the work and insure its success.

 


 
"This thirst for shooting every rare or unwonted kind of bird," says the author of an article in the London Saturday Review, "is accountable for the disappearance of many interesting forms of life in the British Islands."